NEW DELHI : The Congress on Monday slammed both the Centre and the PDP-BJP government in Jammu and Kashmir, and said their handling of the situation in Kashmir is detrimental to the national unity and security. Asserting that the central government lacks a policy on how to handle the situation in Kashmir, the Congress asked it to "articulate its policy towards the Kashmir situation in clear-cut terms".
"The manner in which the BJP-led government at the Centre and the state's coalition government of the BJP and PDP have handled the Kashmir situation is completely detrimental to both national security and integration," Congress spokesperson Manish Tewari said.
"One can see the manifestations of this fallacious policy play itself out in other parts of India too," he added.
"Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti met Prime Minister Narendra Modi today (Monday). After the meeting, we heard from her but nothing from either Modi or the PMO."
Tewari said that there could not be more damning statement than her 'we are where Vajpayee (then Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee) left us' about a complete lack of policy of the Prime Minister and his government on the situation in the state.
"Nothing proves this more than the extremely poor turnout in the Srinagar-Budgam Lok Sabha seat bypoll and postponement of voting in Anantnag, continuing tension on India-Pakistan border, the fragile internal security in the valley, and ever-increasing and deepening contradictions between the Bharatiya Janata Party and Peoples Democratic Party," the Congress leader said.
Quoting figures, Tewari said even after the worst phase of militancy during 1989-1996, thepoll percentage in Jamu and Kashmir assembly elections was 53.92 per cent.
"In 2002, polling percentage was 43.7 per cent, and in 2008 it was 61.16 per cent. In 2014 it was even better," said Tewari.
"The Prime Minister should ask himself what has gone wrong between 2014 and 2017 that a mere seven per cent people turned out to vote," he added.
The Congress leader said barring a few months in 2010, internal security situation in Jammu and Kashmir was relatively normal during the United Progressive Alliance's rule.
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